INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cancer treatment by postcode unacceptable

Published: Thu 16 Nov 2006 03:37 PM
Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman
16 November 2006
Cancer treatment by postcode unacceptable
Cancer patients facing a wait of more than eight weeks for radiation treatment should be offered treatment in Australia, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.
“Cancer patients at Capital and Coast DHB are being offered radiation treatment in Australia if they are waiting longer than eight weeks for treatment,” says Mr Ryall.
“Yet we know of at least one patient at MidCentral DHB who was only offered treatment in Australia because she would have otherwise had to wait more than 12 weeks for treatment at Palmerston North.
“Different DHBs operating under different rules is nothing short of the cruellest form of healthcare by postcode. It is unacceptable and urgent action needs to be taken.”
In answer to a question from National MP Dr Jackie Blue in Parliament today, Health Minister Pete Hodgson confirmed that 42 Category C cancer patients are currently being offered treatment in Australia.
“According to Ministry of Health information, cancer patients’ waiting times for radiation therapy have seriously worsened this year, with every likelihood that delays will get even longer,” says Mr Ryall.
“The number of patients waiting more than eight weeks to begin radiation treatment is now at its highest level since the 2004 cancer treatment crisis. The Ministry of Health states that treatment within four weeks is best practice.
“This crisis is only going to get worse while industrial action continues and the Government ignores the problem.
“There should be national policy that will provide certainty to patients and put a stop to this cruel healthcare-by-postcode situation.
“While he’s at it, Health Minister Pete Hodgson should sort out the industrial action he so readily blames for these treatment delays.”
Ends

Next in New Zealand politics

Joint Press Release With President Of The Govt Of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, & The PM Of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern
By: New Zealand Government
Peters Issues Judicial Review Proceedings
By: Rt Hon Winston Peters
Electoral Changes Will Bring Greater Transparency For Voters
By: New Zealand Government
Wellington’s Rapid Transit Option Progresses To Next Stage
By: New Zealand Government
Charles CHOGM Speech Green Light For Change
By: New Zealand Republic
Goodfellow To Retire As National Party President
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media